The Palestinian Petition to the United Nationsfor Recognition of a Palestinian State
A Legal/Political Analysis
Key Findings and Conclusions
The Palestinian petition to the United Nations (UN) is part of a broader Palestinian process aimed at advancing Palestinian interests not by means of negotiationswith Israel, but through the use of multi-national political and legal frameworks.The Palestinian process comprises two interrelated elements: the request for recognition of statehood and the demarcation of this state’s borders as the 1949
lines (and in this context the recognition of Jerusalem as the capitalof the Palestinian state). These two elements have important political and legalimplications, which this policy paper analyzes with attention to both long-termand short-term consequences.An examination of the conditions for statehood under international law reveals thatthe Palestinian Authority (PA) as an entity is close to
these conditions,and it may be described as “a quasi-state” or “a state in the making.” Whenthere is doubt about whether a political entity is a state, widespread internationalrecognition could tip the balance in favor of a conclusion that the entity is indeeda state. Widespread support among UN member states for recognition of aPalestinian state could therefore lead to the conclusion that a Palestinian statedoes in practice exist.Moreover, various factors support the conclusion that the international communitywould adopt a lenient interpretation of the conditions for statehood in thePalestinian context. These factors include: extensive international sympathy for the Palestinian right of statehood, including international support for the measuresaimed at improving the Palestinian Authority governance mechanisms, and thecontinuing stalemate within the peace process, resulting in a non-state entity thathad been established for “interim arrangement” purposes continuing to operateas such for many years.